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Let’s Pretend To Know What Happiness Feels Like

I spent such a huge part of my life feeling dread and misery that in the beginning of this whole life overhaul journey, I had to believe happiness wasn’t some BS made up Disney emotion. And then I had to figure out if I was worth this lovely gift. And when I finally decided that maybe I was, what does happiness feel like for me?

 

Since childhood, each of us has developed an entire dossier on our own happiness. Some items stem from the musings of a three-year-old, like chocolate for every meal and Daddy and Mommy getting back together. Some are American ideals like white picket fences and skinny bodies. But some may be so precious, we may never have even spoken them. Let's Pretend To Know What Happiness Feels Lik

 

My arting and writing were two activities I denied myself to a painful point. But since I’ve been allowing for their regular expression, I can say that my happiness is truly dependent on these. Although I was dubious about marriage and children, I have come to discover that there are many more layers of wonder there than meet the eye.

 

Money and fame are extrinsic rewards that hold no glamour for me. Happiness is an intrinsic goal. However, Where I once shut down the possibility of making money and gaining any credit, I am beginning to open up to the concept that they are on a necessary pathway to the next steps of creativity and self-exploration.

For me, happiness is about being present in my life. If I’m doing something, I want to be OK with being there doing that. And if I can’t be, then I need to go about changing stuff and making choices so that I never need to feel that way again. Trusting myself to confidently sort through my life’s decisions has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments.Let's Pretend To Know What Happiness Feels Lik

Happiness is about being with my kids and not being impatient with them because I think I have somewhere else to be (except maybe making their dinner). It’s about getting exercise, sleeping well, and cooking yummy food. And my ultimate happiness is to spend time with friends yapping and laughing and drinking a nice bottle of wine. Everything else is a plus happy. I’ve spent a lifetime fishing to feel what happiness felt like. I am making it up as I go and learning that not only do I deserve it and that it’s possible to be happy, but instead of buying into what others tell me should make me happy, I get to decided what makes me truly happy.

What makes you truly happy? Being surrounded by a certain color or immersed in a smell or sound? A certain place on earth? Tell me in the comments please.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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We’re Fighting For Family Unity

Got together with my friend Karen and as we’re talking about our recent endeavors and priorities, she mentions prioritizing her family “being together”. She felt her family needed some sort of activity that all family members could participate together in. And I thought, Wow, both of us are fighting for family time.

 

On the way home from Baltimore on Easter, I told my mother-in-law that there just isn’t a single picture of my nuclear family together. We really didn’t ever exist. We children were conceived and born in California but by the time I was 6 months and we moved to Maryland, there was a new career for my Dad and we we’re no longer a family. Not the kind that is important enough to fight for and hold on to above and beyond all other things. Our family life dissolved slowly and painfully. Like many children, I was a scrap of their misbegotten marriage.

We're Fighting For Family Unity on Shalavee.com

Because of my experience, I am actively and consciously making sure that my children know they belong to something stronger and more stable than they are. I am intentionally making moments and legacy for them that they will weave into their life stories. And I guarantee those won’t suck half as much as mine did.

 

We went to the Salisbury, Maryland Zoological Park on the Tuesday after Easter. We stopped at our favorite diner on the way down where my children were marvelously behaved. We rolled through the Toys R Us to exchange a doubled birthday present and both got a new toy. And we rolled back into town with a big old family memory win. My husband and I even thanked our children for their wonderful behavior.

We're Fighting For Family Unity on Shalavee.com

I am making it up as I go along. But I also believe that if you lead with intention and intuition, you can do a good job of weaving a life that you like and maybe love. And those little beings I birthed from my very own body are so worth the effort.

 

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

 

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My Children are the Bully and the Terrorist

It’s conflicting to be a parent. They are of me but not mine. I need to be open and honest for them to trust me. But I need to keep a safe distance when they have to work out who they are because sometimes, that work is at my expense. Frankly, my children will bully me to get their needs met. They’ll be disrespectful but only to me. It’s business, not personal. They’re working themselves out and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

My son’s a bully when he wants more screen time or when he needs food because he’s suddenly starving. And my daughter is a terrorist. It may be emotional terrorism but its exhausting just the same. I wrote about suffering from post traumatic toddler disorder here. She actually cries at me when she has a need. It can be manipulative and it’s part of her survival arsenal.

For me, there’s such a fine balance between being available for them constantly and being vulnerable to burn out. Unless my children are physically not in the house with me, I am never off duty. And they are very entitled to have their needs met. I do draw a line when their needs are encroaching on my needs. But even Miss Sassafras still busts in the bathroom while I’m on the potty despite my protests.

Last week I made a new “chores, expectations, and rewards” chart for my son. The holidays had him spoiled with the amount of screen time he was getting. And without boundaries, he had begun to come at me, pestering me and continually asking me for more time like a true junkie until he hoped I relented.

These new boundaries are now on paper and not up to me. He has an allotted amount of time and if he runs over, it eats into the next play time. He can earn more time by additional chores. But currently the only option for more screen time is raking and he hates that.My Children are the bully and the terrorist on Shalavee.com

Dinner prep in the kitchen is often the worst time for me to be bullied and terrorized. My son, after unplugging, suddenly found himself excruciatingly hungry and badgered me so badly that he was banned from the kitchen. And the rest of the night, my husband had to do negotiations to get my son to apologize to me. Fiona has been known to come at me while my hands are covered with dinner prep badgering me for fruit roll-ups and then crying at me when I deny her. Hunger can make people do crazy mean things.

I understand our collective humanity and how our inner toddlers have needs that they need fulfilled right freaking now. It is survival in process. But I also know that I am the last boundary standing between them and those needs sometimes. I try very hard to not take their disrespect personally but I would do myself and them an injustice if I didn’t stand my ground on what methods are acceptable to get your needs met. The battle will continue I fear but hopefully, in the end, I’ll win the war of raising nice children.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Remember, They Are So Little

Remember, they’re still so little. When they’re big people, they won’t be little anymore. They say “The days can be long but the years are short”. I have to imagine them grown already to appreciate them more here while they sass me and argue with me.Their So Little on Shalavee.com

They are clever and funny, manipulative and innocent. I hold space for all these qualities in them that they find what’s right for them. I try to be a wise and patient parent. And then I snap, apologize for my humanity and move on. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

They are of me but not mine. I can’t control, only guide. They can only emulate what they see. And so I have fought for their vision to be full of self-respect and self-care. Of valuing myself that they will one day value themselves. And allowing and valuing for the differences in people who the world has to offer them to learn from. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

My children are my greatest teachers. And for them, I will be courageous. I will be mindful and honest. I will continue to look into my soul, healing and showing them that humanity is messy and lovely and wonderful. Their So Little on Shalavee.com

This is what I hope they know of me when I am gone and they want to know who I was. I think they already do though.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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My Kid and Mindfulness

Ironically, mindfulness isn’t something I gave much thought to until it seemed to start popping up everywhere I was. I wasn’t mindful of mindfulness. Being aware of what you are feeling and thinking isn’t very American after all. Mindlessness is encouraged. Copious television watching and numbing techniques don’t encourage mindfulness.

I want more for myself and for my kids however. Knowing that the only way to teach is by doing, I am outspoken about what I am doing and how my insights are growing me. I also talk to my son often about owning his choices, belonging, self-esteem, and other subjects that come up. So when he gave me a reflection yesterday of a more thoughtful sort, I was sorta blown away. Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

He is having a tough time, as expected, adjusting to middle school. A transition from childhood to adulthood, there are a lot of expectations to mind and I’m not sure you can be ready for that. I’d advised a while ago that maybe he needed to create somethings to look forward to. And he said yesterday that he may have needed to get into a better place knowing how things go and that he could handle them before he could put things in place that he could look forward to.

We all need to listen harder to the little ego voice that says I would be happy if I had such and such in my life, be it more music or free time or walks in the woods. And then our adult selves can go about making sure that the happiness quotient is filled weekly. Because I don’t think we’re the sum of what we do. I think we’re the sum of the happy and proud and included moments of our lives. And those are up to us to create with great intention.

Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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